Fantasy Football Waiver Wire, Week 2: Rash of NFL injuries leave rosters needing pickups

·Fantasy Analyst
·7 min read

Opening week in the NFL was, of course, glorious, chaotic and messy. In all likelihood, it left your fantasy rosters full of little red Qs and Os. Dak Prescott, Keenan Allen, Chris Godwin, Tee Higgins, Najee Harris and Eli Mitchell were among the injured. But the games just keep coming, so you're gonna need to patch those damaged lineups this week. Below you'll find a collection of potential pickups, all available in a majority of Yahoo leagues and recommended for immediate use.

Wide receivers on the wire

Curtis Samuel, Washington Commanders (7% rostered)

Just in case you'd somehow forgotten, when Curtis Samuel is healthy, he is an exceedingly tough assignment...

Samuel's first season in Washington was mostly erased by a groin injury as he appeared in only five games, playing just 84 total offensive snaps. But he reminded us on Sunday that when he's right, he's simply one of the league's most dangerous multi-threat players. He gained 72 scrimmage yards on a dozen touches against the Jaguars, occasionally clowning defenders who attempted to tackle him. Samuel also saw a team-high 11 targets, a total we shouldn't ignore. Make him a priority ahead of next week's matchup at Detroit.

Recommended waiver offer, assuming $100 budget: $19

Jahan Dotson, Washington Commanders (24%)

Let's be clear: We are not officially endorsing any fantasy lineup containing multiple Washington skill players, certainly not in a non-bye week. Asking Carson Wentz to consistently deliver three or more useful receivers is, um ... well, that's probably a bad plan.

But if you drafted a Commanders-free roster, then consider taking a shot with either Samuel or Jahan Dotson, a Penn State rookie who generated buzz throughout camp. Dotson entered the league with the Reception Perception seal of approval after producing 2,066 receiving yards and 20 scores over his final two collegiate seasons. He feasted in his pro debut, catching a pair of touchdown passes including the game-winner...

It's tough to imagine a performance that would have solidified his place in the team's receiving hierarchy more than Sunday's effort. Dotson is clearly a player who needs to be widely rostered in fantasy leagues of any size and shape.

Offer: $11

Jarvis Landry, New Orleans Saints (42%)

Michael Thomas caught both of Jameis Winston's TD passes in his long-awaited return from various injuries, but it was Jarvis Landry who actually led the Saints in targets on Sunday. He caught seven of his nine chances for 114 yards, justifying last week's pickup hype. Landry was an afterthought in drafts, weirdly enough, despite his history of fantasy relevance. We shouldn't need to give you a hard sell on a guy who has six seasons of 80-plus catches and who is never not open. His semi-miraculous 40-yard reception inside the final minute against Atlanta made the Saints' win possible.

Offer: $12

Additional WRs and TEs to add: Robbie Anderson (never came off the field, got loose for a long TD and topped 100 yards), Devin Duvernay (hauled in all four of his targets, with two TDs included; if you had him rostered and didn't start him, you are not alone), D.J. Chark (he looked suspiciously like 2019 Chark, catching four passes and reaching the end zone once on eight chances), Donovan Peoples-Jones (he's coming off an 11-target game and the Jets are on deck), Kyle Philips (he drew nine targets from Ryan Tannehill, catching six and generally looking like a PPR manager's friend), Gerald Everett (he caught a touchdown pass in Sunday's win over the Raiders and his QB is simply amazing), Logan Thomas (we didn't necessarily expect him back from his knee injury in opening week, but he managed to play 48 snaps and see six targets), Taysom Hill (he's obviously retained the gadgety role he's had in prior seasons, but he only played 16 snaps in the opener, drawing one target). Some of you are gonna be adding O.J. Howard, understandably. Let's just note that he only played a dozen snaps and was targeted twice.

Quarterbacks for your streaming or stashing consideration

Jameis Winston, New Orleans Saints (46%)

After Sunday's thrilling-yet-totally-predictable comeback against the Falcons, Winston has thrown 16 TD passes and only three interceptions in his eight starts for New Orleans. This is a guy who tossed 30 picks in his final season in Tampa, you might recall. Winston's receiving corps is exceptional and he's never been reluctant to take high-yield downfield shots. He completed 23 of his 34 attempts on Sunday with an aDOT of 9.6. Next week's matchup with the Bucs could be a challenge, but he travels to Carolina the following Sunday. Assuming good health, Winston is fully capable of giving us 30-plus passing scores.

Offer: $5

Matt Ryan, Indianapolis Colts (43%)

While Ryan was far from flawless in Sunday's tie at Houston, he did manage to throw for 352 yards, thanks to a whopping 50 attempts. He's also the guy who gets to pass to Michael Pittman Jr., which is a nice way to make your living...

Next week, the Colts travel to Jacksonville to face a defense that just allowed 300-plus yards and four touchdowns to Carson Wentz and the Commanders. The following week, Indy hosts KC in a game that should deliver plenty of fantasy goodness. So for short-term streaming purposes, Ryan can definitely help.

Offer: $4

Other QBs approved for use: Carson Wentz (it's never a clinic with Wentz, but his receiving corps is full of talent and the Lions are up next), Marcus Mariota (the man just rushed for 72 yards and a score, numbers that will play in any format).

Running backs to prioritize

Khalil Herbert, Chicago Bears (41%)

Yes, it's true that David Montgomery out-touched Herbert on Sunday, 20 to 10, and out-snapped him 38 to 17. But Herbert got the work at the goal-line and he dominated the drive that gave Chicago a two-score lead over the Niners. The fact that the team rode him in the biggest moments seems meaningful. Herbert was a revelation last season, producing 388 scrimmage yards during a four-game stretch in which Montgomery was sidelined. It appears he may have carved out a meaningful regular role in this year's offense.

Offer: $16

Bears running back Khalil Herbert appears to have a fantasy relevant role in the Chicago backfield. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Bears running back Khalil Herbert appears to have a fantasy relevant role in the Chicago backfield. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Jeff Wilson Jr., San Francisco 49ers (18%)

Eli Mitchell was on his way to a massive rushing total in Chicago, but a first-half knee injury ended his afternoon after he'd carried six times for 41 yards. In his absence, Wilson handled 11 touches and gained 30 yards in monsoon conditions at Soldier Field. Unless this is your first season of fantasy football, you are no doubt familiar with Wilson, a multi-year understudy for the Niners. He's produced a few single-game eruptions in the past when called upon. His upcoming matchup with Seattle shouldn't scare you off, but obviously Trey Lance and Deebo Samuel are going to continue to see significant rushing usage. Those two combined for 21 carries and 106 rushing yards in the loss at Chicago.

Mitchell is expected to be out for perhaps eight weeks with his MCL injury, so Wilson's services will definitely be needed.

Offer: $16

Various other RBs who deserve attention: Rex Burkhead (he gained 70 total yards against the Colts on 19 touches, drawing eight targets and playing over 70% of the snaps — disastrous news for those who drafted Dameon Pierce), Jaylen Warren (early reporting suggests Harris' foot injury isn't severe, but it's worth noting that Warren operated as his clear replacement), Kenyan Drake (for however long J.K. Dobbins is sidelined, Drake is Baltimore's lead back), Isiah Pacheco (the rookie did almost all of his work in the fourth quarter on Sunday, with the Chiefs fully in control against Arizona, but 62 yards and a score is worth noting), Eno Benjamin (he out-snapped Darrel Williams 22 to zero on Sunday, running as Arizona's unrivaled No. 2 back), Rachaad White (he's the backup to Leonard Fournette and coming off an eight-touch game).

For those streaming defenses

Cleveland Browns (27%)

The Browns delivered four sacks and an interception in the opener and the team is about to host the Jets next Sunday. Myles Garrett and friends are going to rank as a startable group more often than not. This D should be something more than simply a streaming option, yet it's available in over 70 percent of Yahoo leagues.

Offer: $2

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